Xinghu Lu (Star Lake road) Bar Street:
This area changes frequently with new management and new name but West Bar, Starclub are the two main ones that have kept their names. Today, New Night and various others with even more strange names are to be found along this road. Busy almost every night of the week, caters mainly it seems to students who like to play dice games and drink beer out of little glasses, who just want to ‘Gan bei’ (Cheers).
Best place for a quiet beer and some relaxation?
Dynasty Hotel, Coffee Shop Ground Floor
They have a coffee shop on the ground floor and serve beer from 10rmb and spirits from 15rmb a glass. It’s quiet most of the time and they close at 1am
Red Bar Yuejiang Road, Zhaoqing.
A personal favourite to most foreigners, it’s small and tucked away if you prefer to drink at the bar then this is the place. The decoration looks British old style pub with Royal England wallpaper and comfortable big sofas. Also inside they have rooms for bigger groups. They have a variety of drinks from Budweiser to German Beer charging from 15rmb. Spirits can be ordered by glass or if they are many of you it’s best to order a bottle. A bottle of Jack Daniels from 350rmb.
Blue Folk 1-2/F Yuehai Hotel, 1 Tianning South Rd., Duanzhou, ZHAOQING
Every now and then they do have live bands playing on certain nights and stand up acoustic nights plus they have KTV rooms upstairs. So if you fancy showing off your singing talent to a live audience the owner Fong who can speak English can play a lot of western songs. They sell beer but not much of a selection of spirits or wine.
Che Cheng Complex (not so relaxing)
Is a square block complex where the main new bars and clubs are now where most people go for KTV and an ‘Ibiza style’ nightclub out near a lot of restaurants, further away from the Star lake bar street. Flashy atmosphere, but high prices and the dice games take precedence here. That being said the music is actually somewhat better if clubbing is your cup of tea.
A typical KTV design room Babyface Nightclub, Guangzhou
Plenty of KTV bars for those who want to croon the night away, best avoided really, as probably cost a small fortune just for the room. If you do have a desire to be Elvis Presley or Adel for the night, it can easily be found, once you know your way around.
Guangzhou is a much larger city than Zhaoqing and more care should be taken when there. Particularly be on the lookout for bag snatchers or pickpockets, they tend to congregate in the largest numbers near metro stations, bus stations or other very busy places. Also…beware of buying goods off the street. While DVDs are only 5rmb, buying laptops or mobile phones are another matter. They are often stolen and there are many cases of theft. Despite this Guangzhou is a safe city but only if you take care and be on your guard in public places.
This, however, is advice that should be used for any city centre in China. In taxis it is usually easier to make sure they use the meter or they may try to charge extortionate rates, as you are a foreigner and they may think you have no clue what the fare should be.
Elephant & Castle, 363 Huanshi Dong Lu, Address In Chinese - 环市东路363号Tel: (020) 8359 3309 - The E&C is a roomy sports bar with an outdoor pool table and two bar areas, it’s a lively place that opens at 5pm with a three-hour “Happy Hour” lasting until 8pm with drinks roughly half-price. It can get very busy on nights that it’s home to informal business gatherings or when there are big sporting events, but usually it’s simply a good place to go for a relaxing drink or western food such as burgers, fish and chips or a BLT. Draught beers include San Miguel, Tetley’s Smooth and Guinness.
The Hill Bar, 367 Huanshi Dong Lu, 环市东路367号, Guangzhou.
The Hill Bar is one of Guangzhou’s oldest westernized bars and is literally on a hill (well…more like a bit of mound really) in the center of the city near the other bars mentioned. It has regular live music with a separate area for the bands and also has darts and some draught beers.
The Paddy Field都柏林湾餐厅, Central Plaza Ground Floor, 38 Huale Lu, 华乐路38号广怡大厦首层1A Guangzhou.
The Paddy Field is close to both The Hill and The Elephant & Castle, and is Guangzhou’s first and. The inside has the traditional Irish-theme-pub look to it and they have a large range of Irish drinks at the bar area or sample classic Irish dishes in the dining area. They also have Sunday Roasts, cheesecake and lasagna among other dishes. Not cheap but the closest to being back home you may find.
Like Guangzhou, Shenzhen is a large city and care should be taken there, especially at night.
Bill’s Bar – Shekou district
Bill’s Bar (x-ta-sea bar) is an American-style sports bar run by (funnily enough) Bill, a friendly American guy. Western-style bars on draught usually from 15rmb-40rmb a pint. They also have pool, satellite TV, western snacks and very late closing times.
McCawleys Bar – Shekou district
Like PaddyField in Guangzhou, an Irish bar with the usual Irish tipples, just as expensive as well.
Website - http://www.mccawleysirishbar.com/eng/home.asp